The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) denounces the actions of imperialist powers that continue to seek regime change in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. NADEL supports the elected government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela under the leadership of the democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro Moros.

On 23 January 2019 Mr. Juan Guaidó the leader of the opposition declared himself the acting President of Venezuela. Many imperial nations have supported his self-appointment to the Presidency that is inconsistent with Article133 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Article 133 sets out the terms under which a President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela may be removed/replaced.

The European Union has demanded fresh elections within eight (8) days. Imperialist nations led by the United States of America: Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands and Britain support the self-declared president.

Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, Iran, Mexico, Uruguay and South Africa support the democratically elected President Maduro. China remains neutral but condemns foreign interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state.

In a statement issued on 01 June 2018, NADEL reported on the visit of its President Mvuzo Notyesi to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Mr. Notyesi was one (1) of two hundred and fifty (250) independent electoral observers. NADEL’s position is that the elections were free and fair. President Nicolas Maduro was elected to the Presidency with 67.7% of the vote.

NADEL is a human rights association and therefore it is imperative for us to present our view on the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Imperialist powers and Latin American nations supporting this coup d’état have cited the unprecedented humanitarian crisis and the exodus of more than three million (3 000 000) Venezuelans as the reason for supporting this attempt at regime change.

The humanitarian crisis suffered by the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is as a result of economic warfare waged against it by imperialist forces. Venezuela is a sovereign state that has the right to self-determination which includes the right to determine an economic and political system that is most viable and suitable for its citizens.

The interest of imperial nations in the politics and economics of Venezuela is because the proven oil reserves in Venezuela are the largest oil reserves in the world. Apart from her oil reserves Venezuela’s natural resources include natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, diamonds and other minerals. Venezuela is the only non-Middle Eastern country to be a member nation of the OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and is a validation of her importance to the global oil trade.

A key reason for imperialist powers to support a far-right candidate is that President Maduro refuses to follow the neoliberal economic policies as set out by imperial powers for other nations i.e. austerity, privatisation and de-regulation. Venezuela is the last standing Latin American nation that does not follow the neoliberal free trade agenda which includes policies that will allow private companies operating in Venezuela to sue the government for lost future profits because of state regulations.

Economic Warfare and the Violation of United Nations Resolutions

As stated in our statement of 01 June 2018 the humanitarian crisis is a direct result of economic sanctions placed on Venezuela.

The use of unilateral coercive measures against the Venezuelan people is unlawful and a breach of United Nations Resolution 70/1 adopted 25 September 2015.

As of 2014 the country has been subjected to a series of sanctions unilaterally imposed by North America and Europe. Under the Obama administration the 113-278 Act was passed in America entitled: “Public Law for the Defence of Human Rights and Civil Society”. This Act dictates the actions of the United States of America (USA) against Venezuela. The Act 113-278 includes a set of sanctions aimed at the economic blockade and expressly provides that Member states of the of the Organisation of American States and the European Union shall work together to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

This law expressly contravenes the fundamental principles of Public International Law, the United Nations Charter and the Charter of the Organisation of American States. Further, the declaration by USA that Venezuela is “an unusual and extraordinary threat to national security and foreign policy of the United States of America” has set the background for eventual, possible military intervention in Venezuela.

The United Nations HRC Resolution 27/21 states: “Stressing that unilateral coercive measures and legislation are contrary to international law, international humanitarian law, the Charter and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations amongst states …

Reaffirming that no state may use or encourage the use of any type of measure, including but not limited to economic or political measures, to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind…

Recognising that unilateral coercive measures in the form of economic sanctions can have far-reaching implications for the human rights of the general population of targeted states, disproportionately affecting the poor and most vulnerable classes…”

Therefore, financial and economic blockade placed on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela by the USA, Canada, European Union, Switzerland and the United Kingdom is in direct breach of Resolution 27/21 and a violation of the human rights of the people of Venezuela. It is also clear that it is an attempt to subordinate the executive powers of the sovereign state of Venezuela.

The result of the economic sanctions and financial blockade is that Venezuela cannot import food and medicine and health supplies. Most of its food and medicine imports were from the USA. It has directly resulted in the current humanitarian crisis. It impacts on the social development of the country and has calamitous effects on realisation of human rights for the people of Venezuela.

The imperialist forces who have imposed the financial blockade- after being instrumental in creating a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela-now threaten to use the humanitarian crisis of their creation, as a pretext for military aggression and regime change.

The National Association of Democratic Lawyers therefore condemns the international interference of imperialist nations and their proxy states in the domestic affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

All financial blockades and economic sanctions must be lifted immediately as they directly violate the human rights of the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as set out in United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 27/21.

The actions of these imperialist nations undermine the people’s right to self-determination a key principle of international law, non-interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state and equality between states. The USA and her allies should not be importing an ideology into the United Nations that favours the historical domination of colonialism and exploitation over the global south and developing countries and an ideology that does not favour a multilateral system of world order.

28 JANUARY 2019